The Crown Estate, one of the largest property owners in London’s West End, has said it will trial switching its goods deliveries over to electric vehicles from this summer.
The Crown Estate hopes that the effort will help to decarbonise logistics for Regent Street retailers. It is partnering with Volta Trucks, which is planning to start producing 16-tonne, full-electric trucks later this year.
The purpose-built Volta Zero has been designed “to be as safe as possible”, the Crown Estate said, with a glasshouse-style cab that maximises driver visibility. Its large 8.6-tonne payload also removes several smaller 3.5-tonne vans from the streets, which helps reduce traffic congestion.
The use of electric vans could also help to cut costs in the long term as they are cheaper to fuel and maintain and are also exempt from paying both the Congestion Charge and London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). In October, the ULEZ was expanded to cover an area 18 times larger than before in order to tackle London’s poor air quality.
The Crown Estate’s London portfolio spans 10 million sq ft and comprises of Regent Street and around half of St James’s.
Judith Everett, executive director at The Crown Estate, said: “This partnership is another important step towards reducing congestion, improving air quality and making our streets safer and more accessible across the West End.
“It will be a win-win for us and our customers, helping support their deliveries and our joint sustainability ambitions. It builds on our continued work to trial and test to see what works best for everyone using our streets, now and in the future.”
Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Volta Trucks, said: “The full-electric Volta Zero is specifically designed for zero-emission urban distribution with exactly the Crown Estate and Clipper Logistics’ use case in mind.
“With 8.6-tonnes of payload, it was created to consolidate deliveries and reduce congestion of smaller vehicles on city centre streets. I look forward to seeing the Crown Estate and Clipper Logistics-liveried vehicles operating on the famous streets of London’s West End in only a few months’ time.”
A recent study found that the total indirect emissions from electric vehicles, which includes their manufacture and intended lifetime use, paled in comparison to the indirect emissions from fossil fuel-powered vehicles.
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